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Posts tagged “John Cusack

Christmas Movie: Serendipity

While Christmas shopping in New York, Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) meet and seem to really like each other. But she’s making him play a game, making each other leave their numbers randomly in NYC. She says that they’re meant to be together if they find each other with these little signs. If I was in Jonathan’s place I would just surrender and assume that she doesn’t like me as much as she appears he does, or that she has baggage that I probably shouldn’t deal with, despite of how beautiful and charming he is. The latter is the most plausible theory but for some reason “Serendipity” doesn’t address that.

Seven years later we see both not as close to each other as they want to, because it’s their fault. They revel in their fake happiness, surprisingly engaged and soon to be married with other people (John Corbett). But they’re thinking about the one who got away because they were meant for each other, although one of them could have had the power to stop their mental torture and for this movie to have stopped happening. Why do romantic comedies not make sense? Why am I such a guy? I should just crank one of these things out. I’ve ‘fallen in love’ like this but without subsequent meetings built bridges it’s difficult to sustain such emotional connections. Although I’m considering the truth within that statement in a pre-Facebook era, and wondering about the ramifications of separations like this had this movie been made earlier.

And despite of being his bread and butter I never understood why Cusack starred in these things or in any movie. Besides, he seems to go through these informal five-ish year hiatuses. I don’t know anything he’s done between “Bullets over Broadway” and “High Fidelity” and between “Identity” and “Hot Tub Time Machine.” I have amateur porn star CV’s to complete that seem more urgent than going through all his movies. And he’s paired up with all these younger women like Beckinsale and Lizzy Caplan and Alice Eve that I’m numb to it now. I used to stalk the Top Ten Money Making Stars list all time and he’s never appeared once. People who make money should only be getting away with stuff like this. Why is he getting away with this? Is it because of Lloyd Dobbler? I’m sorry to ruin everyone’s teenhoods but he’s not Lloyd Dobbler. Lloyd Dobbler only happened once. And why is his sister less famous than him?

But I’m not so ignorant about Cusack’s CV to know that every other movie of his has Jeremy Piven in it. He moves up from stoner friend or doped sailor to a NYT obituarist who helps Jonathan find clues to who Sara is. Piven, known as a terrible person, does have the chops to show empathy for Jonathan. Sara is equally equipped with a BFF in Molly Shannon, as the former gives the latter a trip to NYC as a birthday gift but with her own hidden motives. Basically, at the heart of these movie are two useful people who suffer under the weight of their love struck and manipulative friends.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Miss…

Octavia Spencer, a bit player back in 1998. She might just win an Oscar this year, and I hope I’m not giving her a jinx by speculating.

As Charlie Kaufman‘s screenwriting début, Spike Jonze‘s Being John Malkovich concentrates more on surrealism, word play and the sharp turns between sincere emotion and dark humour. His later scripts would thankfully highlight his characters’ humanity more. And his directors like Jonze, Michel Gondry and Kaufman himself will slow the dialogue’s delivery down, make the music (mostly Jon Brion) louder and turn the lighting up a bit. The cast is also commendable. Catherine Keener in her bitchiest role, Cameron Diaz who never seemed to turn down a movie offer in the 90’s (although that worked well for her ), the en pointe John Cusack who had a good year and John Malkovich himself. Sorry for the short post, which some of you might think that this movie deserves better. I’m also equally sorry for the link below.

It’s Like That Friend Who’s…

ph. MGM/UA

…tha asshole. He’s our asshole.

After “How to Train Your Dragon,” last Friday, the Toronto Underground Cinema played “Hot Tub Time Machine.” And I saw it again. And I paid for it. I just wanna share my favourite moments this second time around, and this time I actually have proper screen caps.

Like When Nick Webber-Agnew (Craig Robinson) just word vomits in Russian.

Or Lou’s (Rob Corddry) calm demeanor when he looks up to the thundering sky, deciding that he’s not gonna go back to 2010. Blink and you miss it.

Jon’s (blogless, as far as I know) favourite moment is when Lou tells his son Jacob those three words he never did. As well as Jacob’s response to that.

Look, the lovable Lizzy Caplan joins the party! She plays the younger voice of sanity in “Mean Girls” and she does that here too. She has great chemistry with Adam (John Cusack) never looks too young nor too old in either parts of the space-time continuum.

And there’s been some talk that iMDb is fanboy centric. If that were true,  “Hot Tub Time Machine” would have a higher mark.

Martina was talking on the phone with her mother. I joked at how her mother might be scared that she’s watching a movie with two boys. She said that her mother trusts her choice of friends, but retracted that statement after watching the movie. I told them that I spent a voucher to watch this movie the first time and they told me that I wasted that voucher. I hope you guys disagree with them. 😛

Hot Tub Time Machine

(Not Colin Farrell. ph. clothesonfilm)

Anything to avoid the Kraken, right?

The movie has sharp, dirty dialogue that will make United Artists founder Mary Pickford roll on her grave. And it’s that kind of humour that’s actually effective. Surprisingly, the off-putting homophobic lines actually come from Lou (The Daily Show alumni Rob Corddry), a character really comfortable about crossing the lines of sexuality. I also like how the one who’s supposedly Adam (John Cusack) and Nick’s a-hole friend steals and carries the show. And just like Corddry, the cast knows how to mix serious dialogue into the punch lines without making it see contrived.

I talked about emo before, and “Hot Tub Time Machine” has related themes. It’s all about emasculation. Nick’s wife cheats on him, Adam gets divorced, Lou is drunkenness makes doctors put him on suicide watch, Jacob is the 21st century version of “It’s Pat.” It follows the comedy genre in a way that there’s a happy ending, but in this movie they never intend to get that good ending and instead tried to do everything the same when they got the chance to go back to 1986. It’s like trying to get your dick back while you’re blindfolded. And they don’t try to be the jocks but as the tradition of the genre dictates, they’re in the middle ground, becoming content, competent men.

This movie feels like a better version of “The Hangover” with time travel, which thankfully means I don’t have to see “The Hangover.” And if you wanna feel nostalgic about the 80’s, this is the go to film for that.

Someone’s probably gonna overthink this and overblow the Reagan/Communist references. Ooh, Nick represents Obama since he spoke a little Russian. But I’m too tired to do that now.

And speaking of which, the people who go to the Scotiabank Theatre are fucking idiots. I was howling at the Reaganite and 80’s pop culture references, the bros were hooting at the women’s hooters and the dick jokes. A member of the audience put his hands like a Jay-Z symbol in front of the projector. Sure, the dick jokes and the pee jokes and the seminal discharge humour were well done for what it is. But the movie was peppered with different kinds of humour and I don’t understand why the basest jokes within the movie stand out. It’s a smarter movie than it seems.